Ex-TRAX member No Min Woo sues SME over 17-year slave contract; case could set precedent


SM Entertainment is collecting lawsuits like it’s their hobby recently, and former TRAX drummer No Min Woo adds to their woes, suing the company over an alleged slave contract of 17 years and a broadcast ban.

Min Woo’s legal reps JC Partners filed the suit in Seoul Central District Court and with the Fair Trade Commission.

“Before No Min Woo debuted, he ended up signing a contract spanning 17 years, as a result of SM Entertainment’s unilateral terms of contract extension. Truthfully, contracts extending over seven years are considered unfair, so taking issue in a 17-year contract is a matter of course. While the 17-year contract is an issue, in addition, as soon as No Min Woo showed signs of opposition [to the contract], SM halted all support activities expected of a management company. He did start activities again on his own, but SM Entertainment blocked his television appearances.”

No Min Woo debuted with TRAX back in 2004 and left the group in 2006 but remained under SME until 2009.

It’s been six years since he left the company, so why file now?

“It goes to show how wronged No Min Woo must feel, to go to court with a huge management agency like SM over a contract that is already over,” continues the rep. “The development of this case will be something to see.”

I guess?

The logical answer would’ve been, “Because I only now just found out the consequences of them blacklisting me.” But the response they gave actually makes me wonder what’s going on.

For their part, SME has responded in force.

Upon news of this lawsuit, SM responded via a statement to Star Today: “We plan to take legal action an all accounts regarding the groundless lawsuit and report [to the Fair Trade Commission].”

None of us really know enough about this yet to make conclusions, but at least the easy ethnic excuses won’t fly as a public reaction.

Also, and I think this might be the most important question of all … I wonder if idols will be able to retroactively sue for the slave contracts they were under before JYJ helped change that law in Korea? That would make this A LOT more interesting as it would open a can of worms and set a precedent for everybody else who were under companies over the years. Dun dun dunnn.


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